Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

As Thai tourist island reopens, small businesses say left behind

CoronavirusJun 30, 2021 11:19AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
6/6 © Reuters. Elephants are seen at an elephant camp as Phuket prepares to open to overseas tourists from July 1, allowing foreigners fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to visit the resort island without quarantine, in Phuket, Thailand June 30, 2/6

By Jiraporn Kuhakan

PHUKET, Thailand (Reuters) - As Thailand's government prepares to celebrate its reopening to foreign tourists this week, many businesses on the holiday island of Phuket aren't so enthusiastic about the return of visitors.

Phuket is a pilot programme for Thailand's reboot of a tourism industry gutted by the pandemic, allowing fully vaccinated visitors with negative coronavirus tests to fly directly to the southern island, bypassing 14-day quarantine requirements.

But local firms say they've been left behind and aren't expecting much from the trickles of tourists due to arrive starting Thursday. Visitors will see a different Phuket from the one visited annually by millions before the pandemic struck.

"They will see buildings on sale, buildings for rent, shop closed, convenience store closed. Do you think it's a good environment for the tourist? No," said Srangsan Thongtan of the Phuket Tourism Entrepreneur Development Association, adding that businesses are urgently in need of soft loans to rebuild. "It's very hard to open ... we don't have budget, we don't have money to repair, repaint everything to bring our business back."

More than 2 million Thai tourism workers have lost their jobs since last year, including 400,000 in the first quarter of 2021, an industry group said this week, while the central bank governor said tourism could take "five years plus" to normalise.

Thailand lost about $50 billion in tourism revenue last year when foreign arrivals plunged 83% from the nearly 40 million visitors in 2019.

Natchakanya Sanguanwong, manager of Anchan spa, which once served hundreds of tourists each day, said many businesses won't see the revenues from the first batches of visitors, who will stay in government-accredited hotels.

"Our spa couldn't reopen because it requires the cost of utilities, staff, and rent," she added.

Manish Prathap, manager of the Centara Grand hotel, said his resort is expecting about 20% occupancy initially and for that to double when the plan catches on.

"Agents and as well as guests will start having trust and faith in Phuket Sandbox programme," he said.

The hotel's duty manager, Kamonrat Thudphimai, said she was excited.

"I've been missing the moments during holidays like during Christmas," she said. "We're hoping those moments return."

As Thai tourist island reopens, small businesses say left behind
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email